The rise of social media and the ease with which everyone can get online has profoundly changed the world of PR and media relations over the last ten years. Some call this change “PR 3.0” or “Media 3.0”, but we prefer the term, “Digital PR”. In fact, we like it so much that we chose it for the name of our company!
But, no matter what term you use to describe it, the fact is that brands that lack an effective digital PR strategy will struggle to rise above the noise. So, the question is, what is digital PR and how can it help to drive the success of your business?
Traditional PR vs Digital PR
In the days before smartphones and an always-connected society, traditional PR relied on networking with journalists and submitting news releases in order to achieve coverage in print, radio and TV media outlets. In those days, before the explosive growth of the internet and social media, there was really no other option than to consume content via these outlets.
As such, there was less time-pressure and a focus on quality content from professional journalists. Success was typically measured in terms of the quantity of coverage obtained or the AVE (Advertising Value Equivalent) of the coverage, meaning what it would have cost to achieve the same result through paid media spend. While traditional outlets such as these still matter today, how people consume content has changed radically since the “good old days” of traditional media. Social media and online news websites have vastly overtaken traditional media¹ and not only for the younger generations; internet and social media usage is increasing with older generations too, including pensioners².
What this means is that anyone can simply remove their smartphone from their pocket or bag, load up Facebook or Twitter and be deluged with a 24/7 stream of content that’s free and constantly evolving and updating in real-time. Attention spans are short and being first to share the news matters more than a carefully-crafted story. Or does it?
Digital PR = Smart PR
This is where digital PR comes in. Put simply, digital PR blends the skills of traditional PR, such as creativity and media relations, with a deep understanding of how content is consumed online. So instead of focusing on clippings and AVE, digital PR takes a more measurable approach of securing articles on relevant, high-ranking websites, blogs and social media channels, plus backlinks to owned media channels, which in turn drive traffic and leads.
This approach requires expert content creation and data analysis skills, to understand customer needs and interests, so that captivating stories can be crafted and seeded to relevant publications that are hungry for content. And it also necessitates a deep understanding of SEO, in addition to expert knowledge of how to successfully engage with influencers and audiences on social media in order to amplify the content.
The measure of success
Importantly, the benefits of digital PR are more measurable, and more closely aligned with the business goals of the brand. A successful digital PR campaign can result in a huge uplift in search traffic and leads, bringing more customers to your virtual doorstep.
When you consider that there are 3.5 billion searches per day on Google³, the importance of the combined disciplines of digital PR becomes clear. So, what͛s in a name? As you can see from this article, quite a lot! As an agency we combine journalistic expertise and a formidable understanding of product with SEO/SEM and social media proficiency to ensure our clients receive coverage that leads to success. That’s why we’re digitalPR.
To learn more about our services, please get in touch!